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Hi there, I am starting at the University of Alberta in the fall to study Occupational Therapy. I am from Ontario and won't know anyone when I move to Edmonton at the end of August, so I have been looking for a somewhere that current OT students at UofA could tell me what the program is like, or where would be a good area to live in Edmonton - and where other new students looking for roommates could connect. Please comment if you have any advice, or if you will be joining me at the University of Alberta for occupational therapy!

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I would avoid hub, I've heard horror stories about it being infested with mice. 

Do anywhere near Whyte or grad residence if you can afford it. With grad res you can end your lease early if you end up leaving Edmonton for your placement in may. 

 

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As I'm just wrapping it up I would say most programs have their quirks but that the staff at u of a really value student input and try to change things constantly for the better. 

Depending on your learning style you need to determine if you would be able to pay attention to video conferencing if you go to the Calgary campus. I can't speak to that campus itself as I didn't go but we occasionally had video conference from Calgary to Edmonton and I found it very difficult to pay attention so I'm happy I didn't go to that campus. 

Hmm the program content can be heavy, especially the first term of second year. Your experience will probably be different but in this level of degree they always reminded us grades don't matter (but they do for scholarships - so if you don't care about that, I know people that just passed and were fine with it). 

For placements, it's handy to have a car. Especially for your mandatory rural placement. If you don't have one, that's ok, but try to live near school or downtown by transit (specifically the train line, not via buses they are a lot less predictable in Edmonton). 

Feel free to ask me more specific questions but that's all I can think of off the top of my head for general pros/cons. 

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I'm also from Ontario, more specifically Toronto and I'll most likely be studying in the UofA OT program this fall too! Super stressed about housing and how to determine the best place to stay even though I'm not in Edmonton right now. Is there an OT 2019 cohort group on facebook? I feel like that'd be super beneficial, especially if we could get some upper years to answer our questions or give advice on how to transition into grad school!!

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The first years/program will send you an email I think in the next week or two for your FB group. It's been created I know that much but I believe it's closed until they send that email out. 

Generally, I would advise you to be close to the train. Avoid the north east of the city it can be a bit dodgy over there. Anywhere near Whyte or just south of it will be good so Allendale and those areas. Otherwise I know a few people live downtown near corona and Grandin station and that works well for them. Try to avoid having to bus and train because it makes your commute horrible especially in the winter. Also if you live in the south near century park keep in mind a lot of the hospitals where you may have placement at are downtown or by the u of a. South East isn't the most transit friendly either. 

Just for everyone that is stressed out, know that it's completely normal and expected. Moving and grad school are major changes that everyone in your cohort will be unsure about. Try to get to know people in your cohort and use them as supports!  Take it day by day and trust me you'll learn to manage your stress. Happy to answer anymore questions you have :)

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I am currently seeking out jobs and from what we have been told by AHS there are plenty, last time we were told there were more than 200 OT jobs in the province in AHS alone.

I feel like it also depends on where you want to work. There is a lot of opportunity to go rural but even some of the hospitals are having a huge problem with vacant OT positions that they've not experienced in the past. Also it seems that Edmonton has more jobs than Calgary but hard to say.  

I have yet to interview so I feel like I don't have the best or most accurate understanding of the reality of the current job prospects. I hope this helped a bit! 

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On 6/6/2019 at 5:17 PM, lp1000 said:

The first years/program will send you an email I think in the next week or two for your FB group. It's been created I know that much but I believe it's closed until they send that email out. 

Generally, I would advise you to be close to the train. Avoid the north east of the city it can be a bit dodgy over there. Anywhere near Whyte or just south of it will be good so Allendale and those areas. Otherwise I know a few people live downtown near corona and Grandin station and that works well for them. Try to avoid having to bus and train because it makes your commute horrible especially in the winter. Also if you live in the south near century park keep in mind a lot of the hospitals where you may have placement at are downtown or by the u of a. South East isn't the most transit friendly either. 

Just for everyone that is stressed out, know that it's completely normal and expected. Moving and grad school are major changes that everyone in your cohort will be unsure about. Try to get to know people in your cohort and use them as supports!  Take it day by day and trust me you'll learn to manage your stress. Happy to answer anymore questions you have :)

I second that!I just finished my first year and I can recall all the stress I experienced last year. We have created the Facebook group and you guys will receive an email in the next week or so to join. It is a closed group as we only want OT 2021 joining. In terms of housing, I would recommend Windsor Park (which is literally across from Corbett Hall, however on the pricey side). Other than that Whyte Ave and Jasper Ave are fairly reasonably priced.

Also for those of you wondering about whether vehicles are needed for placements...my answer would be no. I am currently finishing my rural placement in northern alberta and I do not have a car. There is a bus called Red Arrow that goes to certain rural places. Once you are in the town, everything is within walking distance and rent is fairly cheap. (more to come on placement stuff during orientation) 

Lots and lots of Q&A will be posted on the Facebook group as well as rental places, textbooks, etc so hang on tight :) 

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On 6/15/2019 at 3:27 PM, Otpthopeful said:

Do you know when people will hear about whether they will be in the Calgary or Edmonton campus? 

I just got my letter yesterday letting me know I got into Calgary 

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